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By now, we all know the story: Kratos, the bald, badass protagonist of God of War III, spends all his time in an inhuman rage because years ago, Greek god of war Ares tricked him into murdering his own wife and child. And now, to complete his revenge, he's hell-bent on murdering his way through the entire Greek pantheon.
Above: And no minotaur faces are safe until he does
The thing is, Kratos is a son of Zeus, who also happens to be the main target of his revenge. And Zeus is at the epicenter of ancient Greece's convoluted, incestuous mythology. This means that, one way or another, Kratos is related by blood to every Titan and Olympian god he encounters. To illustrate that fact, we've drawn up this family tree:
This isn't a complete rundown of all the figures and relationships of Greek mythology, obviously, but by looking at it, we can see how the characters who've appeared (or whose offspring has appeared) in the series are related to each other and, ultimately, to Kratos. And what it tells us is that Kratos is so enraged by the murder of his immediate family (at his own hands) that he's going to rip his entire extended family limb-from-limb in order to atone for it.
Above: We don't actually know much about these two except that they were apparently worth committing mass deicide over
It sounds a little silly when we say it like that, doesn't it? But then, Kratos has never been one to stop and think about his actions. And besides, it's not like the Greek gods were the most nurturing family in the world.
Now, let's take a look at how our favorite kin-murderer has worked his way through his family tree in each game. WARNING: Spoilers for God of War, God of War II, Chains of Olympus and Betrayal follow. Spoilers for God of War III won't appear until the third page.
When the PSP prequel to God of War opens, Kratos's hands are already pretty badly stained with his own family's blood. Here's where things stand when the game opens:
Having mistakenly slain his wife and daughter years before, he now serves as a hitman for the gods in an attempt to work off his sins. Over the course of the game, he rescues Helios (his first cousin, once removed) at the request of Eos (another FCOR), imprisons the Titan Atlas (still another FCOR, by dint of being Cronos's nephew) and confronts Persephone, daughter of Zeus and wife of Hades, which makes her Kratos's half-sister AND his aunt. And by "confronts," we mean "kills."
Above: You might be an Olympian god if... your sister and your aunt are the same person
And so, by the end of the game, the black sheep of the Olympian family has reduced his bizarre spiderweb of a family tree by one, all in an effort to make up for killing two.
With Persephone dead, let's see how Kratos's family tree stands at the opening of God of War:
Shortly after the events of Chains of Olympus, Kratos found a new purpose: revenge on Ares, the red-headed god of war/stand-in for Satan who'd first bound him into service in exchange for saving his life. It was Ares who, in an attempt to turn Kratos into the perfect killing machine, manipulated him into killing his (immediate) family and made him the pathologically broken, violent man we know and love. And that seems even more messed up when you consider that it's an incredibly shitty thing to do to your own half-brother.
Above: This whole scenario takes on a new dimension when you throw sibling rivalry into the equation
We all know how this ends: when Kratos is mad at something, that thing dies. And so, to pay his half-brother back for being a sociopath, Kratos grows to massive size, kills him and takes his place as the new god of war. So that's another relative down.
Next page: Kratos takes down a few more relatives in Betrayal and GoWII